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Title: English language education policy in China : a CDA and ethnographic study
Author: Shi, Jiayi
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 0994
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2016
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Despite the growing stream of literature about English language education in China, there has been relatively little discussion of primary English language education. Past research has focused almost exclusively on secondary and tertiary English education. This research seeks to address this gap by examining primary English education policy. More specifically, this research provides insights into the extent to which each instance of language policy and planning can be seen as a product of its specific context. This thesis is based on an ethnographic study conducted in local education bureaus and three primary schools in Yulin, a Northwestern Chinese city with 3 million people. Drawing on critical discourse analysis (CDA) of political discourse(s), ethnographic field notes, questionnaires, interviews and classroom observation, this study investigates the influence of macro and micro levels of policy actors in disseminating and implementing the language policy. It also evaluates the apparent match and mismatch between macro policy and micro levels of practice within the local language policy and planning context. As such, I offer a lens for studying primary English education policy in China. The combination of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and ethnography represents a methodological contribution of this research and is used as a way of seeing if there are gaps between policy and practice; and, if so, what kind(s)? Thus, the main contribution of this study to the literature on language education policy is a framework for analyzing the interaction between policy and practice. This framework combines CDA and ethnography. CDA is used to try and identify underlying ideology and power relations in politically determined educational discourse, whereas the ethnographic part of the study is used to examine and interpret the implementation of policy among local education officials and teachers. Additionally, this research extends the current literature on English education policy by identifying that a lack of communication between macro and micro policy actors is a significant reason behind poor English language education quality. On the surface, local officials and teachers follow the instructions in the political discourse, due to a somewhat rigid hierarchical structure of Chinese society. In some aspects, though, local officials and teachers might veer away from, abandon or even change policy consciously or unconsciously in their daily routines and classes. Importantly, the findings presented in this thesis try to bridge the research on language education policy and teaching and content and methods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available